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10 Free Online Courses For Small Business Owners

Written by on October 19, 2020

Nobody said managing a small business would be easy – whether you’re just starting out or have been in the game for a while. In order to ensure your business keeps on growing, you need to evolve as a small business owner as well.

What a better way to do so than by constantly learning and upgrading your skills? While going back to school it’s probably not an option, now more than ever, information is right at our fingertips.

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From binge-watching TED talks to online learning, if you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll find that the web is filled with resources aimed at helping you do your job in the best way possible. 

Keeping a busy schedule in mind, each of these free online courses for small business owners will allow you to level up your business management skills at your own pace and without worrying about making a big investment. 


1. Increase your productivity and achieve business success 

A great part of achieving business success comes down to being as organized and effective as possible. With this in mind, The Balance Small Business offers its Business Success Course, which includes a variety of time, task and team managing skills to help you gain an upper edge as an entrepreneur. 

Through several lessons and practical exercises, students can learn at their own pace. Important skills such as delegating or networking are covered. But it also takes things a step further and focused on things like building self-confidence.

Everyone knows a confident business owner is the one who will take their message and brand further. 

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2. Marketing strategy

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Open Courseware is a tremendous resource for business owners and entrepreneurs to go through. Its long list of Entrepreneurship Courses includes so much material is hard to choose just one.

Fortunately, they’re all for free so a bit of allotted time is all you need to continue growing as a boss. Our personal favorite is perhaps the Marketing Strategy course, aimed at helping you develop a successful marketing plan that connects directly to your business goals. 

Hello, competitive advantage!


3. Learning the basics – and not so basics of Excel

Managing Excel properly is a tremendous skill any business owner should be able to master. However, since this is often not the case, Udemy offers a myriad of Free Excel Courses and Tutorials for learners of all levels. 

Don’t forget to look through the rest of their catalog though. It’s comprised of all sorts of online courses for small business owners. They’re affordably priced and available to be completed whenever fits your schedule.

4. Selling your business

How are your business closing skills? In case they need a little upkeep, the U.S. Small Business Administration provides a great free online course on Selling Your Business.

In just 30 minutes you’ll go through basics such as defining a business exit strategy, preparing a sales agreement, and of course, successfully closing a business. 

Keep this website bookmarked, as the Learning Center is filled with course topics aimed at helping you through every stage of the entrepreneurial path. From planning and launching to managing and growing your business – it’s all covered.


5. Accounting and financial management 

Thanks to EdX’s free online finance and financial accounting courses, you’re now able to learn from institutions as creditable as Columbia, Maryland, and Babson.

The Accounting and Financial Management course, in particular, is a deep look at reading and understanding your finances. So if you need some additional guidance when it comes to managing costs and making proper financial decisions, it’s the one for you!

6. Content marketing from the experts


HubSpot Academy is already one of the most recognized names when it comes to online training for anything marketing, sales and customer service related. Their Content Marketing free online course for small business owners will give you a thorough look at what this is and how to do it. 

The bite-sized lessons offer a great deal of information comprised of 12 sections that should only take you around 6 hours to complete. Squeeze it into your calendar if you’re looking to stand out in the online world. 

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7. Introduction to social media advertising

One of the most powerful ways to connect to your customers these days goes through social media. At this point, there’s simply no excuse for not having a proper social media planning and management.

Buffer’s Introduction To Social Media Advertising is everything you need to get that strategy going and succeeding. 

Shared through SkillShare, this class will teach you all the key terms to know. Learn to better set your campaign goals, define your audience segments and optimizing your campaigns for long-term success.


8. SEO training course

SEO looks at a website’s internal and external aspects. Optimizing it in a way that allows it to reach the top of search engine marketing results is the goal. If you didn’t really understand the term before reading this, then Moz’s free SEO Training Course should go straight to your to-do list. 

Whether you want to manage your own website’s optimization or be better prepared to look for an external agency, this course will walk you through everything.

Become better acquainted with strategy development, site audits, keyword research basics and reporting.

9. Leadership skills in business

Being a business owner isn’t simply a title, but something that you learn how to do effectively. Alison’s Leadership Skills In Business free online course for small business owners is aimed at doing just that. 

Regardless of how long you’ve been in the rat race, developing your leadership skills is a promising sign of success.

Through this course’s lessons, students will improve their team managing skills. You’ll learn how to better create an organizational structure while also taking into consideration the ethics of it all. 


10. Supply chain sustainability

These days, having an effective and efficient supply chain comes down to also making it a sustainable one. This is precisely what Open Learn’s free Supply Chain Sustainability course is aimed at. 

The course tackles the environmental side of things along with social, financial and network sustainability. 

Make sure to view the rest of Open Learn’s free course catalog too. Their Money & Business category is a tremendously appreciated resource for entrepreneurs looking to better manage their brand.

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Best of luck on your continuous pursuit of knowledge

There are almost as many free online courses out there as there fish in the sea. This abridged list is only the tip of the iceberg. So dive in, get a feel of which topics appeal the most to you and start looking for related courses.

Your clients will thank you. Your business will thank you. Your arsenal of handy tools and skills will expand. And you’ll become a more well rounded and informed individual on the whole.

Sounds like a win-win, so what are you waiting for? Happy learning!

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